The best winter running gear for 2023
Smash your polar PB with this cold-weather kit
Running in the winter months has its perks. Sure, it’s pitch black when you wake up, but at least that means you can’t see the sideways sleet outside.
Though sub-zero temperatures and slippery surfaces might make January jogging something of an assault course, pounding the pavement in chilly weather can actually help you beat the winter blues – all thanks to those glorious post-run endorphins.
Ready to get out from under your duvet and go after that Parkrun record? From grippy trainers to insulating baselayers, this sprinting kit is sure to bolster your resolve when conditions turn arctic. Even if your central heating doesn’t.
Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 GORE-TEX
Pounding frosty ground is as much a part of winter running as frozen toes and runny noses. Problem is, while playing a daily game of 5K slip and slide might improve your core balance, the lack of traction underfoot won’t do much for your PB, especially if you’re planning to go off road. Don’t let low adhesion affect your form: slip these Nike kicks on your feet for surer strides in tricky conditions.
A waterproof GORE-TEX layer keeps your feet dry from the elements, while lots of cushioning around the ankle gives extra support. The Pegasus 4 is a great hybrid shoe, offering grip and comfort whether on gravel or muddy trails. A React midsole makes longer runs less harsh, and a range of bright reflective colours means you won’t be missed on dark country roads.
Bam Contrast Stitch Bamboo
Wrap yourself in bamboo, they said. It’ll be warm, wicking and better for the world, they said. Well now you’re a shivering wreck with a strong resemblance to a Panda snack. If only you’d left it to the professionals.
This baselayer from Bam is a lesson in sustainable fitness clothing. Soft, breathable and anti-bacterial, it harnesses the natural properties of the fast-growing perennial stem to deliver a performance top that keeps you toasty without hurting the world. Close fitting and equipped with nifty thumb loops, it’s far more effective than anything you can fashion from your garden hedge.
Regatta Britedale Waterproof Jacket
The last thing you want while attempting to keep fit in the cold, dark winter months is to be lost in the middle of nowhere without a torch. Trust us, we’ve been there, and that’s where the Britedale waterproof from Regatta comes in. While not strictly a running jacket, the Regatta Britedale is a very handy piece of wearable winter gear thanks to a battery-powered torch that’s stitched into the hood.
Tried and tested by us on a wet Yorkshire walk, the Britedale comes with an inner fleece that keeps you warm while an outer waterproof jacket keeps the rain at bay. The jacket is snug yet breathable, which keeps the clamminess at bay, and taped seams ups protection against the elements. While the Britedale comes in a range of colours, the dark grey colour adds two large reflective panels on either side of the jacket for extra visibility.
With just eight hours of daylight in which to work, shop and curate your #InstaFit feed, running in the dark becomes a necessary part of any winter training regime. Don’t be dim when you sprint after dark: stick this waterproof shiner on your waistband for guaranteed visibility.
Light, bright and good for up to 10 hours on a full charge, a built-in clip makes attaching the Pixel a cinch, while the option to switch the colour from red to white means you can also use one on your handlebars if you’re foolhardy enough to attempt a February duathlon.
Under Armour Rush ColdGear
Want second-skin insulation for your chilly pins? You could smear lard on your legs like on an old-school open-water swimmer. Or, for skin-tight warmth that’s less likely to get you chucked off the bus home, try these running tights from Under Armour.
Designed to fit close for better performance, the compression leggings are equal parts soft, sweat-wicking and breathable. Like lard, they’re chafe-free and contour-hugging. Unlike Lard, they’re made of soft four-way stretch fabric that’s designed to reflect energy back into your muscles.
Under Armour also ships a matching hoodie and Seamless Mock base layer. It’s all in the ColdGear series.
Hot beats won’t thaw the frost beneath your feet, but they might just spur you on to a seasonal PB. For toasty tunes to keep you moving, add these wireless earbuds to your winter running ensemble.
Packing punchy bass to boost you as you brave the cold, the sweet-sounding ‘buds are rugged enough to withstand sideways rain yet sufficiently small to squeeze beneath a beanie. What’s more, several sizes of silicone wings should keep them secure as you yomp through frozen fields, while an eight-hour battery life – boosted up to 32 with the bundled charging case – will go the distance even if you run at a glacial pace.
Inov8 Race Elite 3-in-1 Glove
You don’t need functioning digits to beat your 10K record, but frozen fingers won’t be much help when it’s time to grab your medal. Wrap your hands with these multi-talented mittens and you won’t have to thaw your paws after every race.
Lightweight, breathable and toasty to boot, each 16-gram glove features a stretchy stash pocket on the back which harbours packable over-mittens. If rain arrives mid-race, simply whip out the bundled covers for an extra layer of waterproof warmth. There are silicone prints on the index finger and thumb, too – perfect for gripping your silverware.
Gore Windstopper Insulated Beanie
A brief jog in the brisk morning air might be what you need to wake up for work, but let a bitter wind blow about your bonce and you’ll surely be in for a head cold. Keep your cranium cosy as you go with this insulated beanie.
Windproof yet breathable, it’s designed to ensure your noggin’s snug and warm in the worst of the winter weather, without trapping any sweat. Its microporous Windstopper membrane magically manages to block the chilly breeze but still release the moisture that’s steaming off your sweaty skull. Which is more than you can say for that retro headband your nan knitted.
Garmin Vivoactive 4
If you’re committed enough to hit the freezing streets at the crack of dawn, you might as well get the credit. And if you’re after a tracking companion that can log the lot, Garmin’s latest sports watch is the one for your wrist.
Heart rate, blood oxygen, hydration, respiration, sleep and stress: the Vivoactive 4 can record just about every metric going, as well as plotting your routes with GPS and sending your location to selected contacts if it detects a slippery incident. It’ll also coach you to your running goals, keep you moving with on-board music and help you grab a hot chocolate on the jog home, courtesy of built-in contactless payment tech. Sadly, it can’t do anything about the air temperature.
Brooks Canopy Jacket
Running might be your time for personal reflection, but meditative thoughts alone won’t make you visible when you’re dashing through drizzle at dusk. Don this packable jacket for a brighter aura.
Reflective strips front and back are sure to keep you seen in the dark, while the weather-resistant ripstop polyester shell and roll-away hood should do plenty to fend off downpours. Once the shower’s passed? Stash the jacket in its little pocket and loop the elasticated band around your arm for faff-free carrying. It’s breathable, too, so any negative energy should be free to leave your body.